The decision whether to buy or rent a home is never a black and white one. There are always pros and cons to each choice. What you really need to do is find out which option suits you better for the situation you find yourself in. Making this decision often comes down to three factors: cost, flexibility, and life ambitions.

Cost. If you don’t want to be responsible for things such as maintenance and repairs, then renting is a good option. In addition, there are far fewer up-front costs associated with renting.

However, one of the plusses to owning a house is that every penny you pay goes toward your mortgage, with a percentage of that money directly reducing your debt. When the value of your home goes up, you can pocket even more money when it’s time to sell.

Flexibility. When you rent, your situation has more wiggle room. A lease is far less restrictive than a mortgage, and moving without much notice is far more feasible. While a lease is still binding and does carry some restrictions, you have more short-term options without having to put a house on the market and hope it sells.

On the other hand, when you buy a house, it’s yours. You can customize, update, change and tweak to your heart’s desire, because you own the house and you make the rules (within reason of course, especially if you are part of an HOA).

Life Ambitions. The goals you have set for your life and career play a major role in deciding whether to rent or buy. If you plan on moving in the near future, the long-term benefits of owning don’t apply, so renting would make sense. But if you intend to stay put for awhile, then buying a home is a great idea if you can afford it.

So the choice is yours. Both options are attractive given the right situation. Make sure you make a list and decide which option fits your life best.